owlmoose: (Default)
For as long as it takes me to eat lunch, anyway. I'll probably get myself some more substantial online time tomorrow.

So, hello! The packing has gone really well -- so well, in fact, that we're almost finished and now have very little to do besides wait for the movers to arrive on Thursday. If anyone within reasonable driving distance of north San Diego county wants to get together, let me know.

The new-to-me car is in great shape. I expect we will have many adventures together.

Now that I'm here with all the world of the Internets in front of me, I find I don't have much to say. How are all of you?
owlmoose: (hp - monsters)
Tomorrow afternoon, I'm leaving for a week in San Diego to help T's sister, W, pack up their mom's house. This trip has been planned for awhile, since before T's mom went through a bad patch a couple of weeks ago. So there was some thought that we might have to cancel, but now things are stable and we're still on -- my SiL arrived in California yesterday.

We don't have to clean out the house completely -- this is just a first pass, to move some of the furniture and other things to Virginia, where my MiL moved in with W a little over a year ago. Still, it's going to be a fair amount of work. On the plus side, I'm getting a car out of it; T's mom had two cars, only one went with her to Virginia, and this way we don't have to figure out how to sell it. On the downside, I'm going to be in a house with no Internet access for a week. I'll have my phone, and I'll check in from there as I can, and I might escape to a cafe a time or two, but for the most part I'll be offline. So we'll see how that goes. If you need me, email or IM is probably the best bet.

This will probably not be the worst trip ever, but I don't expect it to be the most fun, either. So good thoughts and (phone internet) viewable distractions will almost certainly be welcome!

Holidays

Dec. 29th, 2013 02:15 pm
owlmoose: (cats - teacup)
Last full day in DC. We had a quiet Christmas day. Then we went out the next three days, visiting the Pentagon Memorial (mostly because the architect was a classmate of mine at Bryn Mawr), the Library of Congress (at last!), the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum (which is the home of the Space Shuttle Discovery), and Eastern Market in Capitol Hill.

Today was brunch and now football -- my sister-in-law's boyfriend is a big Packers fan, and they have a shot at the playoffs, so no way he is going to miss this game. So we are all in the TV room, hanging out by the fireplace and the Christmas tree, the early games on TV, nice and cozy against the rain outside. It's been a good visit. But I'm definitely glad to be getting home tomorrow.
owlmoose: (tea - it's good for you)
As usual, we had a family dinner at my uncle's place in Sacramento. I made an apple crisp, which was well-received. There was turkey and potatoes and rolls and two kinds of stuffing. No pumpkin pie, alas, which I will have to rectify at some point this weekend. I get along reasonably well with my family, so visits are not usually too stress-inducing.

Also, I discovered that my brother D is a brony, which on reflection ought not to be too surprising -- he's really into a lot of other animated shows, so it makes sense that My Little Pony would be in the mix. I'm more amused by it than anything, and also by the utter confusion of the elder generation that adult men have flocked in droves to a cartoon targeted at elementary school girls.

I hope that all of you are having an excellent holiday, or simply a fine Thursday, wherever you may be.
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
We returned from our annual Christmas trip to San Diego today. It was a pretty good visit -- uneventful flights there and back, a quiet Christmas at home with curry chicken and Scrabble and pie, then took a drive up to Orange County the next day for the big holiday dinner with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. It was a good trip, although not without its stresses. Minor family drama under the cut. )

I'm not getting together with my parents until mid-January, so we get this weekend free of family obligations. On the agenda: relaxing, more Mass Effect, and a fondue party on New Year's Eve for which I'm coordinating the food. Should be fun.

I hope everyone who celebrates had a great holiday, and I wish you all the happiest of New Years!
owlmoose: (cookies)
Today was the first of two Thanksgiving dinners, with family -- tomorrow will be with friends -- and it went well. One thing I am thankful for is that my family tends to be fairly low drama, on the family drama scale, so I rarely have to worry about arguments or family politics or walking away from a gathering carrying more frustration than I brought.

A couple of people have asked about the "wrong chocolate" that I mentioned in my last post. T was making chocolate friands, which are small fudge-like chocolate cakes, very dense, very rich, and frosted with ganache. The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate, but we accidentally bought semisweet, which has a lower cocoa content. As a result, the cakes didn't bake up quite right -- the consistency was more like a slightly overcooked brownie, and we lost several because they stuck to the pan -- and the ganache didn't set at room temperature. They were still tasty, and my family was happy to eat them, but they weren't up to T's high standards. So tomorrow we will get the appropriate chocolate and see if the second batch comes together better. Pictures, perhaps, if we succeed. :)
owlmoose: A bright blue butterfly (butterfly)
Sorry to have been so absent lately. The daily life spam has, I fear, well and truly moved to Tumblr these days, so if you are for some reason interested in my more mundane doings, that is the place to be. [tumblr.com profile] lifeofkj But I want to update more here, too, with things besides fic crossposting. I need a better plan.

I had a very fun birthday dinner yesterday, complete with excellent friends, tasty food, and a fake birthday cake with sparklers. Very dramatic! Today, my actual birthday, was much quieter: a fairly ordinary day at work, and then I came home and played Dragon Age for most of the evening, with a brief pause for grocery shopping and dinner. I consider my celebration to have been yesterday, so I'm not too fussed about not doing anything on the day itself. I'm going up to see my parents on Saturday, which should be nice. We did have a bit of a family health scare, but it looks like everyone is going to be all right, so I'll take that as a birthday gift of sorts, too.

Also, Nay found me a Hanklerfished copy of "The Fault in Our Stars", which was pretty darned exciting to get! :D

So, 39. I keep telling myself I'm not so freaked out by this, to see "the big four-oh" coming down the pike. I stressed out when 30 was impending, but by the time it arrived, it was no big deal. Let's hope that this next milestone is the same.
owlmoose: (california - freeway)
It was a pretty good trip. Relatively laid back. The flights were uneventful. Spent Christmas Day at the San Diego Zoo, where we experienced perfect weather and saw a panda bear eating lunch. Monday was T's big family holiday dinner, and we spent yesterday pretty much lounging around his mom's house.

I took the opportunity of the downtime to read, which is something I haven't done much of these last few months. Finished The Kingdom of Gods, the last book in N.K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, which was excellent, the best of the series I thought, and then I tore through books two and three of The Hunger Games, about which I have far more complicated and mixed feelings and will probably write another post about on another day. I also poked some at fic and spent entirely too much time on Tumblr. Now I have two more days off, plus New Year's weekend; I suspect next Monday is going to come as something as a shock.

Good, as always, to be home!

Savor

Nov. 23rd, 2011 09:59 am
owlmoose: (tea - it's good for you)
The coffee is fresh, the Panera is warm and smells like cinnamon, I got my favorite table, and I have lots of ideas for the continuation of the crossover fic percolating in my brain. A good start to the last day of a short work-week.

This holiday is going to be really busy, but I also hope really fun. Thursday is Thanksgiving with family in Sacramento. Then a second Thanksgiving on Friday with friends, which has started happening more often over the last couple of years, and I love it. We're making desserts for both -- I plan to pick up ingredients for apple crisp at the Farmer's Market today (assuming I'm not too late...) and then T is going to whip up a Fromage Blanc Bavarian for Friday. (One large cake, not many little cakes like in that picture.) Then Saturday is a small Moose Day (observed) celebration, and on Sunday, I collapse.

Oh November. Usually a busy month, but this time it has just been non-stop, from the opening bell. Let's hope that at least the opening weeks of December are a little quieter...
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
Visiting T's mom in San Diego. Earlier today, T installed a wireless router, so I am Internet-enabled on my own computer, which is pretty awesome. Makes a nice change from past visits, where I was stuck on either my phone or her Windows box. Also, can I just wax poetic for a minute about how much easier it is to travel with my new Air than when I was lugging my old MacBook around? It's just not even worth comparing them.

On the downside, I have a cold and therefore zero energy. Stupid cold, ruining my getaway weekend. Although I suppose at least it provides me a good excuse to keep things low key.
owlmoose: (Default)
Not ganked from anyone this year; I just felt like doing it.

Take the first line from the first post of each month, and that's your Year in Review.*

January: Drove up north today to have lunch and exchange gifts with my parents and brother.

February: I regret to report that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter.

March: Days written: 21/28 (ick)

April: Clearly, I underestimated the havoc that Final Fantasy XIII was going to wreak on my writing schedule.

May: Sigourney Weaver says that Avatar lost to The Hurt Locker because the Academy wanted to give the award to a woman.

June: Regarding my flight east, I got into JFK Airport at 4am. We will say nothing more about that.

July: It's the final day of my second four-day weekend in a row. I just can't tell you how happy I was to be able to arrange this.

August: Thanks largely to the 30 Days of Writing project, not only did I catch up on the [livejournal.com profile] getyourwordsout pace, I'm now ahead by over a thousand words.

September: A little song and dance from Captain Picard...

October: Yay Giants!!!

November: So I am totally cheating here and choosing my own topic to kick off daily posting in November -- I'll get started on other people's topics tomorrow, promise -- because THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS JUST WON THE FREAKING WORLD SERIES.

December: My brother is out from Nashville for a few days, family in tow.

Opening and closing with family, lots of writing in between, and a two-month interruption by the baseball post-season. Yeah, that's a pretty fair representation of my 2010.

*I skipped a few writing goals posts, to get a little variety in the comments. Otherwise half of these would have started with "Days Written:..."

Family time

Dec. 1st, 2010 10:03 pm
owlmoose: (cats - tori sun)
My brother is out from Nashville for a few days, family in tow. They arrived late last night, and I spent most of today with him, his wife, and their son, who is five. I hadn't seen my nephew, H, since their last visit to California in 2006. A lot changed in four years. The difference between Age One and Age Five is astronomical, especially in term of how well I'm able to relate to him. I knew that intellectually, of course, but that's not quite the same as seeing the age gap in action.

He's a great kid: sharp, friendly, talkative, curious. We went to the Exploratorium for a couple of hours this afternoon (and I had forgotten that the first Wednesday of every month is free admission, so that was a bonus), and it was really fun to watch him running around, turning every lever and poking every button, getting engrossed in learning neat stuff. We had real conversations, and we told each other jokes, and when he hugged me goodbye he seemed to mean it. Spending an afternoon with him finally makes me feel like a real aunt.

One thing is for sure: I'm not waiting another four years to see him again. I think a trip to Nashville is likely on the docket for 2011.
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
[personal profile] lassarina asked about my experiences playing Tabletop (or what I think of as "pencil-and-dice") RPGs.

I have long enjoyed playing RPGs. My introduction to the genre came from [livejournal.com profile] oswulf, who was a big fan and had all kinds of systems; D&D, Gurps, and Star Frontiers are the ones I remember offhand. Starting from our pre-teen years, we would play whenever we could, which was unfortunately not on a regular enough basis to get a long campaign going. But it was still always fun, and led to, among other things, a life-long running gag regarding the dangers of chairs.

The first time I ever got involved in a regular campaign was during my college years -- not while I was away at school, but when I came home for breaks. D and S, the guys I was sort-of dating during much of that time (yes, at the same time; yes, they both knew about it; yes, it's a long story that's only tangentially related, and maybe I will tell it sometime, but not today) were both big gamers, and D invited me to join a long-running Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign that he'd been running since high school, and I gladly accepted, taking on an Elf ranger-type fighter who hated humans and didn't much care for other races, either. That campaign led to many others; some of the more memorable were a couple of Star Wars games (one in which I played a hotshot Imperial pilot who defected after Yavin, and another in which I was the daughter of a spaceship manufacturer who went into business for herself shipping X-Wings to the Rebellion -- she is officially my favorite player character ever), a few rounds of Call of Cthulu (to the GM's consternation, I decided to play a woman famous for writing books about organic gardening, which is not your usual Cthulu mythos character), a Teenagers from Outer Space campaign that sadly ran for only a few sessions but featured some of the most fun I've ever had gaming (I played a goth girl who drove a black VW Thing with the best stereo system in the known universe), and a one-night D&D one shot where I ended up getting myself and most of the rest of my party killed in the gladiator ring. I've also dabbled in Mage (the character I created for that game is one I've thought about resurrecting for a story some day), Champions, and Shadowrun.

After graduation, I moved away from that group of friends, and I've never been in a position to game regularly since. A couple of years ago, I was invited to play in a short campaign run by Jed, in a system he created himself, and that was one of my best gaming experiences ever; it was more like participating in an interactive story, which when well-done is something I love. I like a GM who can think on their feet and allow the players some freedom while still guiding them down the intended path.

I've done a couple of one-shot live-action RPGs also, run by my friend E, and they were a blast. I would definitely be up for doing something like that again. One thing I've never done is acted as GM myself, and I'm perfectly fine with that -- I think I'm much happier as a player, along for the ride.

Would I play regularly again if the opportunity presented itself? Probably, although making time for regular gaming sessions is tough, as we discovered during Jed's short-term game. That's the main reason I haven't sought out a gaming group -- time. That said, if another short-term gaming opportunity comes up, you can be sure that I'll jump on it.

Finally, no discussion of RPGs would be complete for me without a mention of dice. I love dice. I love how they look, I love the feel of them in my hand, I love the sound they make when they're rolled. There's something so tactile about them, unlike any other fidget toy. I have many more sets than I reasonably could need, just because I think they're awesome.

30 Days of... Project! Complete list of questions / Ask a question on LJ or on DW.

In other news, I didn't quite finish the story. Almost; I could probably post it as is, but really it needs at least one more editing run to be presentable. Fortunately (?), Yuletide signups have AO3 running so slowly that we decided to extend the deadline by a week to save everyone the frustration of trying to upload, so I have a bit of a reprieve (and so do the rest of you!). Fingers crossed, it will be ready in the next couple of days.

Six

Sep. 26th, 2010 05:18 pm
owlmoose: (cats - tori sun)
Today is our sixth wedding anniversary. We don't have anything planned, really, although we did go out for a tasty Japanese lunch. For a year that's not a milestone, maybe it's best to keep it simple anyway. (Although really, isn't every year a milestone?)

Six years of marriage, almost twelve years together. There have been up days and down, but overall I wouldn't trade them, or T, for anything.
owlmoose: a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded by fog (golden gate bridge)
Ganked from several: Ask me my Top Fives: Fandom, personal, or pointlessly random. And I will answer them all in a new post.

Also, I've started working on my [community profile] megaflare_ff story again after taking a couple of weeks off. It's going okay, if more slowly than I'd like. Right now I'm having fun coming up with Al-Cid's family members and writing them all playing off each other. I realized the other day that my main inspiration for their personalities and politicking appears to be the royal family of Amber. Whether this is a brilliant idea or a disaster waiting to happen remains to be seen...

While I'm on the subject, don't forget that artist sign-ups for [community profile] megaflare_ff are still open for a couple more weeks. If you've been waffling, come join us; if you have friends who might be interested, let them know!

Finally, tomorrow we're heading down south to visit T's mom tomorrow. Usually we go twice a year -- once during the summer, once for Christmas. Not taking the computer with me this time; I will have my phone, but the latest version of Safari for the iPhone doesn't play nicely with the journaling site interfaces, so I expect I won't be around much until we're back on Sunday night.

Is it wrong that the main attraction for me right now is the promise of 80-degree temperatures? :P I am so ready for this San Francisco "summer" to be over.
owlmoose: a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, shrouded by fog (golden gate bridge)
It's the final day of my second four-day weekend in a row. I just can't tell you how happy I was to be able to arrange this. Today is my official work holiday, but since T got Friday off I took an extra vacation day, and it's been more than worth it.

Friday: By Air )

Saturday: By Sea )

Sunday: By Land )

Unless you go a fair bit out of the way (sometimes in bad traffic it's actually faster to go the long way around, but we almost never do), a drive from San Francisco to Santa Rosa necessitates a trip across the Golden Gate Bridge, which means that I've been over it easily hundreds of times. And that's how an amazing national landmark becomes commonplace. So I sometimes like to take a step back and admire it, look at it the way a tourist might (or a photographer). It's such a beautiful and dramatic piece of architecture, even more so than its cousin across the way, and I try not to take it for granted.

So now the long weekend draws to a close with a day where I have not much at all planned, which given how busy the rest of the days have been is probably a good thing.
owlmoose: (Default)
Because I'm being ambushed by cats. It never fails: when we walk in the door, they're more interested in sniffing every corner of the luggage, but by the next morning they're swarming my feet and demanding love.

The rest of the visit was fine. Sunday we drove up to LA County to join T's aunt and cousins at the racetrack. It's a family tradition for them, but the timing has never worked out for us to join them before. It was the first time I'd ever seen live horse racing, and it was actually pretty fun. T wanted to keep it simple and bet the favorite every time, but that turned out to be a little more complicated than expected because sometimes there was no clear favorite, and once I ended up putting his money on the a horse that ended up in the middle of the pack, odds-wise. (Of course, that horse then won the race...) It ended up being a winning strategy, overall -- he was up $17 at the end of the day, from an initial $5 bet -- but he decided that he prefers gambling games where he has more control over the outcome (in other words, poker).

I had been nervous about the flight back, mostly afraid of long security lines thanks to the incidents this weekend, but the airport was totally empty, and there were no extra security measures taken that we saw. So that all went smoothly. Now it's back to work, but only for two days since we get New Year's Eve off as well as New Year's Day, and really only today is a full work day because tomorrow I'm taking the librarians to lunch. Nice.
owlmoose: (Default)

So we have survived today's big family to-do. The mood was upbeat, almost uniformly so. T made the roast, a task that had been long associated with his dad, but he put his own spin on it, which I think helps. T's family is big and noisy and friendly, much like my own, so I always feel at home with them, especially now that I've known them all for ten years. This time we ended up playing games, mostly a Scrabble-like word game called Bananagrams, which I enjoyed so much that I've already downloaded the iPhone app. Now I am tired from prep and the food coma, so we're kicking back in the guest room with our respective phones, resting up for a drive to LA tomorrow where we're going to meet an aunt and some cousins for a day at the racetrack, something I've never done before. Even though one year my summer job was selling tickets for the grandstand at the Sonoma County Fair. So that should be interesting.

Yesterday, Christmas Day itself, was much more low key. T's sister and her boyfriend got in on Christmas Eve night, and we spent the day tidying the house, putting out decorations -- the lack of advance decoration by T's mom was the only obvious outward sign that anything has changed since last year -- doing cooking prep, and interestingly, also playing games: a couple rounds of Scrabble and a game of Hearts. Games are common fare at the large family get-together, because T's cousins all have kids (age 7 to 19 or so), and keeping them occupied is always high priority, especially at my in-laws house since it's not super kid-friendly. But it's been rare for our small group to do games, and I wonder if my SiL was looking for a distraction. If so, it worked, because the day was good, if quiet. Also I was pleased to learn that the month or so I spent obessesed with Scrabulous paid off in terms on improving my Scrabble game, so much that I might even consider playing one-on-one with T again...

Overall, a succesful holiday visit so far. I hope you all had or are having a great holiday if you celebrate, and/or a lovely weeked!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

owlmoose: (Default)
We learned today (through research, fortunately, not the hard way) that meat thermometers are not allowed in the passenger compartment of an airplane. If you want to travel with a probe thermometer, put it in your checked bag.

Because of course a meat thermometer is a deadly weapon. Just like that bottle of water they made you throw away. Unlike, say, a ballpoint pen, or knitting needles. (Help, someone stop me, I'm applying logic to airline security procedures!)

So yes, we are in fact packing for San Diego. Flight is late tomorrow morning; we return on Sunday afternoon. The cooking implements are for the big Christmas dinner that we're helping to make on Saturday -- it's our first time cooking for the whole clan without T's dad to direct traffic, so wish us luck. I'm not bringing my laptop, but I will have my iPhone. This is the first time I've traveled with the phone, and I'm interested to see how well I can use it to stay in touch. I have no idea what reception is going to be like at my mother-in-law's place, though, so if I disappear for a few days, that's why. Wish me luck. All around.
owlmoose: (Default)
Just back from a really nice family Thanksgiving dinner, up at my Grandma's house. Food, yum. Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, beans, rolls... it was all there, except for the sad omission of pumpkin pie. No pumpkin pie! I am scandalized! T did make tasty brownies and some excellent soft gingerbread cookies, though, so I am pleasantly stuffed with dessert. But I think we may have to rectify this situation and make some pie for ourselves this weekend.

Even more important, of course, was the company, with the special addition this year of [livejournal.com profile] oswulf, who was in town with his wife for the holiday. Most of the local family were there, too, and it was good to see them all, but D isn't just my cousin -- he was my best friend for many, many years. So the opportunity to hang out with him for even a few hours is precious. I am lucky to have a family I enjoy spending time with.

I'm lucky in so many ways, really, and it's good to have a day to reflect on that. It's been a tough year for me and mine, but that doesn't negate the many things I have to be thankful for: solid marriage, financial stability, steady job that I mostly like, good relationships with co-workers and family, and so many good friends, including those of you reading this entry right now. You've probably all noticed by now that I don't tend to get emotional on people, but that doesn't mean that I don't love you all. And so here's a round of Happy Thanksgiving, all around. I'm grateful to be a part of this community.

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